Revisiting Weapon X: Bollers & Segovia on Wolverine: Hunger

Bollers & Segovia on Wolverine: Hunger

The cover to Wolverine: Hunger

This weekend at the Emerald City Comic Con, Marvel announced the release of an online exclusive featuring the ever-popular clawed mutant mega-star, Wolverine. Wolverine: Hunger is an 8-page story written by Karl Bollers and drawn by Stephen Segovia. The story takes place shortly after the now-classic Weapon X story written and drawn by industry legend, Barry Windsor-Smith.

For readers not familiar with the this must-read look at the origin of Marvel’s most popular mutant, Weapon X was originally printed in the pages of Marvel Comics Presents and it featured the gruesome tale of how Logan’s bones were bonded with unbreakable Adamantium. The story, which graphically showed the Canadian Government's inhumane treatment of the mutant Logan as he was turned into Wolverine quickly became canon, and has echoed through the years in X-Men and Wolverine's comics, as well as been shown in the X-Men, and upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine film, judging by the trailers.

Newsarama contacted Karl Bollers and Stephen Segovia to talk about their involvement with this new story centered on the murkiest parts of Wolverine’s mysterious origins.

Newsarama: Wolverine: Hunger is an 8 page digital follow-up to Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X story which detailed the grisly experiment that bond Adamantium to our boy Logan's bones. What else can you tell us about this new short?

Wolverine: Hunger, page 1

Karl Boller: Hunger takes place immediately after Logan escapes the Weapon X facility, and due to that grizzly experiment he underwent, he’s half out of his mind, in a feral state. Acting on pure instinct alone, he’s really more animal than man.

NRAMA: And it's completely silent...

KB: Well, with the exception of one five-lettered sound effect…

NRAMA: Stephen, looking back at something iconic like Weapon X, was there any aspect of the original that you felt was imperative that you evoke in this new piece?

Stephen Segovia: I guess the one after Logan escapes the Weapon X facilities with lots of blood, wires and tracking devices sticking out of his body in the middle of the snowy landscape.

NRAMA: Karl, this might seem like a loaded question; but, in your mind, what is it about Logan and this particular moment in his murky past that keeps readers so damn hungry for the experience?

KB: As a fan, for me Logan’s origin was never so much about what his real name was or where he came from.

What fascinated me about the character were his unbreakable claws. Before he got them he was just a dude with heightened senses (back in the eighties before the bone-claw retcon of the nineties.). Once he gets the claws he essentially becomes the badass we all know from the X-Men, so of course we want to know how he got those claws and how the experience transformed him. With HUNGER we just took it a step further and asked what happened during the period after he escapes captivity and before he was found by Alpha Flight’s James and Heather Hudson.

NRAMA: Will this story be from an outside perspective or Logan's?

KB: Logan’s.

Wolverine: Hunger, page 4

NRAMA: Did the two of you re-read Weapon X as research? Are there any scenes that stick out in your heads as particularly memorable?

SS: I'm actually aware of the Weapon X story but I didn't reread it. To me, the most memorable part is the one after he escapes the facilities. A feral, animalistic Logan, trudging through the snow, completely naked with remaining equipment from the experiment covering just the right parts of his body. (laugh)

KB: I’ve read Barry Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X twice since it was published but haven’t done so in a while. Hunger is set on its heels, but doesn’t deal directly with events in that story, only their repercussions. In my mind, it takes place several weeks after Logan has escaped the facility and hasn’t had any food to eat since.

NRAMA: With a story of this nature, that is silent, how important are dramatic angles? Do panels have to have a great deal of movement?

KB: Not speaking as an artist, but I think the clarity of the storytelling from panel to panel is more important than any amount of dramatic angles you can include. We should be able to clearly see the relation between the panels (almost like movie storyboards). If, for one second, we’re left wondering what happened as we go from one panel to the next, then your silent comic has hit a snag.

SS: The art should be very visual and reader-friendly since it is completely silent. I paid lots attention to the way the reader interacts with the story. The storytelling and the reader’s relationship between the artwork should be very clear and easy to follow. It’s like making storyboards for commercials with better layouts and camera angles.

NRAMA: This is a digital story--for readers who aren't familiar with digital comics or web-based comics--can you explain the differences (if there are any) in the way a story is produced?

KB: No real difference between how a digital story and a story for print publication is produced, at least on the writer’s end. They’re pretty much the same, as far as I can tell, except one ends up on the web and one ends up on a comic rack.

NRAMA: What are the two of you working on in the near future? Any more collaborations for the web?

KB: I’m co-writing this year’s What If…Secret Invasion? one-shot with the ever-amazin’ Kevin Grevioux (scribe of the Underworld movie series and Marvel’s own New Warriors), a Snowbird short for Astonishing Tales and a contribution to Volume Four of Image Comics’ Popgun anthology.

SS: I really enjoyed this project; I hope Karl and I can work together on another project very soon.

NRAMA: This is Wolverine's year in the spotlight--what do you think is the next big step or development for this character? Is there room for Logan to grow?

SS: Maybe there will be another major development for the character after the release of his movie? I don’t know—but I’d love to keep drawing Wolverine in future assignments.

KB: I don’t know…maybe he could join a team? Lose some false memories? Has he been killed and resurrected yet? (laugh)

No, but seriously, I hope there won’t be any big steps in Logan’s near future, but that’s just me. Some folks really go in for that. I’m burnt out on big steps and new developments with my favorite characters all the time. I just want to see them in really cool, well-told tales that remind me what was so great about them in the first place.

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